BAE Systems research reveals human error remains major vulnerability in network security

Organisations have long focused their cyber security positioning around prevention. However, given the sophistication of attacks and the fact that their frequency is increasing, more and more organisations are now beginning to prioritise incident response teams: groups of specialists trained to address and defeat attacks that make it past existing protections. BAE Systems has now released insights from its new incident response report which shine a light on the cause of these breaches.

BAE Systems surveyed Board-level executives, IT decision-makers and information security professionals to understand the current state of corporate incident response capabilities and readiness. Organisations surveyed ranged from Government agencies to healthcare and technology firms, and from small (with less than 500 employees) to large (upwards of 10,000 members of staff) enterprises.

A major finding from the results showcases how many of the organisational breaches are caused by human error, with attackers preying on human nature and employees making honest – but costly – mistakes in the course of their daily routine. 71% of incidents were phishing attacks, while 65% were untargeted viruses or malware.

In addition, 66% of organisations responded to between one and 25 cyber security incidents per month, with 26% responding to between 25 and 99 incidents each month. Nearly 8% responded to 100 or more incidents per month.

Many organisations are just not prepared to respond to cyber threats. 23% of incident response teams don’t conduct readiness exercises with senior management, missing an opportunity for both executive buy-in and staff skill development. 22% of those organisations surveyed only have temporary or no incident response resources in place.

To help with this business challenge, BAE Systems has published its 2019 Incident Response Report. Entitled ‘Why Ignoring Incident Response Could Spell Disaster’, the document includes a check list to help companies document their existing security preparedness. To learn more about incident response and download the report xisit

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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